From Field to Plate:
How IoT is Revolutionising Agriculture
By: Eitan Bienstock
The structure of the agriculture industry is changing, as IoT is creating solutions and advancements which are working to improve quality, harvest and profit across the board.
With a view to better quality, efficiency, productivity and job opportunities IoT innovators are providing new solutions for every day issues faced by farmers across the world.
Beyond the farm, opportunities exist to improve export industries; changing the face of agriculture and its economy globally.
With better connectivity, cost and availability IoT is set to revolutionise agriculture, in a multitude of ways.
IoT systems are able to monitor the weather, track plant growth, moisture and soil quality, and apply this data to different field locations, greenhouses, and crops.
These systems connect real-time land conditions with third party information, digitising the landscape and tailoring it to the needs of farmers, transport and supply companies.
The collection of data across a wide range of external influences has a flow-on effect for crop success and turnover. Detailed data allows for better sustainability, and a more effective supply chain from farm to plate.
Ongoing data collection means more accurate predictions for successive crops, leading to more accurate farming methods.
These possibilities are revolutionising both the quality and quantity of foods available.
From ideal sowing conditions, to optimal growth and nutrition, to factors affecting farming and transport – information provided through IoT systems means less error and more efficiency, and in combination, this is what is ultimately leading to an increase in the availability of quality and quantity of foods.
IoT has created an effective management system for water and waste systems which, for farmers is crucial, given the cost and laws surrounding water use.
Through the use of sensor systems, water levels and flow from storage and nearby sources can be monitored, providing a more accurate indication of water usage and enabling farmers to increase efficiency and output whilst managing excessive use.
In addition, sensor technology can alert farmers to any leak or fault within a storage or irrigation system, and this information will help prevent water waste and its associated costs.
Combining these systems with plant monitoring technologies means that there is now a potential for farmers to regulate water use by knowing soil and leaf moisture content, and comparing it with the water sensor systems.
In addition to more accurate farming methods, IoT is also improving the security of farmland, through the use of GPS tracking and sensor equipment.
There are now systems available that will oversee intrusion, water or equipment theft, and also track and monitor “sticky fingers”.
With a combination of sensors and closed-circuit television, clear images and video can be captured across farm sites, enabling traffic and people to be seen and tracked at any time of the day or the night.
Enabling the security of farm produce and equipment can save huge quantities of money, along with the time and heartache involved in replacing such valuable items.
Saving farmers time and money means that more focus can be put into production, which ultimately affects the availability and cost for consumers.
Through GPS tracking, it is possible to monitor the movement of livestock. This technology can alert farmers whether an animal has wandered too far from safety, or even if it hasn’t moved at all, which could be an indicator of possible injury or ill health.
Maintaining healthy animals within the farm area is just the beginning of possibilities with IoT involvement.
With births and sales a common occurrence, IoT systems can track individual animals across the farm population. This means that the end product comes at a lower cost to farmers and ultimately to consumers
The Impact of Things on Agriculture
With rapid advances in IoT, the impact on agriculture and food production is quite exciting. Environmental factors can now be tracked and monitored to improve the quality and quality of produce. The usage of water will also be optimised and wastage can even be prevented through the use of predictive monitoring, and other IoT systems.
Farm assets and equipment can now be protected and secure thanks to GPS tracking systems to monitor usage and prevent theft. We will also be able to monitor the movement of livestock and maintain healthy animals through the use of GPS tracking and other sensor technology.
With IoT systems advancing, it’s an exciting time as agricultural quality and productivity are set to soar, through a shared passion between IoT pioneers and supporters.
Those involved at every level benefit, and the enthusiasm of those on the farm and in the office is palpable.
To learn more and find out the latest Agtech IoT innovation join us on our 3rd Everything IoT Global Leadership Summit 2017, where Industry leaders, Global Experts, Startups Entrepreneurs, Government, Academia and Investors will come together to propel IoT innovation.
11-12 October 2017, Australian Technology Park, Sydney.
Tickets are available here.